This is an example of how oral histories should be compiled Various sources are interviewed and their excerpts are arranged chronologically to present the story of the famous raid on the Mohner and Eder Dams which powered the German Ruhr industrial area Various phases are covered from the conceptualization, recruitment, execution, and aftermath of the raid Interestingly, also includes interviews with German victims of the raids to show the impact of the raid Recommended. Squadron 617 has been heralded since WWII for their mission against the Ruhr Valley dams The mission included cutting edge technology, great planning, flawless timing, and bravery of the highest sort Many participants died What Max Arthur has done is cobble together accounts of the mission, from the pilots and air crews, the ground crews, various support staff, planners, scientists, and even German military and civilians who were the victims of the attack Like some oral histories, especially those that have a lot of participants, there is a bit of repetition, but in this case it can not be avoided because each retelling of tiny portions of events contained naturally shared experiences But each retelling adds a little something extra It is a thorough examination of one of the benchmark events of the war and is a very enjoyable read.
I am quite a fan of books on World War II but I have never read anything quite like this I ve read the 6 volumes of Churchill s The Second World War book series with much of the writing from one persons point of view This work is completely unlike that Firstly, and most importantly this is an oral history with both German and Allied voices To me this makes it one of the most interesting books on a single event I ve read We hear voices from both sides Next, this is an oral history and does jump from person to person as the events unfold What is told is often overlapping and on occasion contradictory Both of these are the greatest strength of this type of work I imagine this style of book wouldn t appeal to everyone Some may find it lacks fluidity in the writing and narrative but these are voices and oral stories drawn into a single work Finally, I found myself transfixed reading about an event which killed thousands Not in a romantic manner but as a factual and fascinating account of the terrible price of war and the damage to countless life which is wrought If you are interested in this event its well worth reading this to go beyond the hype and glamour of other books on the subject. Arthur s oral histories are always well worth reading in the case of 617 Squadron he s done what few others have and sought out material from the ground crews and other nonflying personnel and the comparison of their reactions to the horrific losses of the Dams raid and those of the flying personnel are a little off putting the ground crews, WAAFs, and Barnes Wallis were weeping, the air crew who d made it back were celebrating One thing that would have made the book a bit useful would have been to show the date of each piece for instance, there are multiple interviews represented for some people, and anything published during the war should have be taken with a large grain of salt due to censorship Overall Arthur did a fine job of picking telling pieces and organizing them his attention to the ground crews and to the people in Germany who suffered the effects and witnessed a couple of the crashes are a bonus The book could have been longer, and ought to have had oral histories from the later war period when the Dambusters finally were living up to the hype from Operation Chastise. I can t believe I paid money for this book It is utterly unreadable It is composed in little paragraphs of oral interviews The story of the raid is not told just little bits of memories, bouncing from person to person without any real continuity The raid itself is an incredible story but the only incredible thing about this book is that it was published.I suppose this is a good add on to other books if you want deeper information on the bombing mission but don t purchase this book as a first source As a matter of face don t purchase at all I am really interested in anything to do with WWII era Britain and Germany and Cold War era Berlin and so I had to pick this book up when I saw it for sale in a local shop This is quite unlike anything else I ve ever read, in that the author is mainly hands off in the re telling of the events of the Dam raids in Germany Instead, he leaves it to the crews of the Lancasters to tell their stories There are also stories from some of the German people involved, such as rectors, artists and even a diary entry from Goebbels which I thought gave a fair perspective on things I already knew a little about the Dambusters, but I felt that I came away from this book, having learnt a lot This will be something that I ll be re reading in the future. A great book that weaves together the recollections of many of those involved in the Dambusters raid There s no attempt to editorialise, or to smooth over differences in recollections, and the book is better for that It probably ought not be the only book you read on the raid, but it s certainly a fascinating account. I thought this book was great and was different from anything I had read before To hear from so many different people who were involved in the build up and how they felt after was fascinating It also had the added extra of hearing about the attack from the other side which is rare. (Book) ⚛ Dambusters ¶ On The Th May , Nineteen Lancaster Bomber Crews Gathered At A Remote RAF Station In Lincolnshire For A Mission Of Extraordinary Daring And High Risk A Night Raid On Three Crucial And Heavily Defended Dams Deep In The German Industrial Heartland The Raiders Would Have To Fly Across Occupied Europe At A Perilously Low Level And Drop Their Bombs At A Mere Feet Above The Water To Destroy The Dam Walls Eight Planes Never ReturnedBestselling Author Max Arthur Has Collected Together First Hand Accounts Of The Preparation, Practise, Organisation And The Raid Itself, And The Sense Of Emptiness And Loss At RAF Scampton When Men Failed To Return From RAF Personnel And Civilians To Germans Who Witnessed The Raid, This Landmark Oral History Collection Paints A Moving And Personal Picture Of One Of The Most Famous Operations Of The Second World War I would have liked some technical details, but there are other book for this.Hearing the story as told by the bomber crews and the people living below the dams was fascinating and terrifying I was impressed by how the crews pushed on after seeing about half the planes not making it back.